Events canceled in response to COVID-19 emergency declarations


R-H Staff



PREBLE COUNTY — Several organizations canceled or postponed events in response to COVID-19. Some of these organizations are Preble County-based, while several events were recognizing organizations or individuals from the county.

• Mid East Performance Association, where Eaton Winter Guard was preparing to compete, decided to end their MEPA 2020 season early.

MEPA issued the following statement, “The health and safety of our community is at the forefront of our minds as we make the difficult decision to end our MEPA 2020 season. We are acting on the orders from the State of Ohio, recommendations from show hosts, as well as following the lead from WGI. We appreciate, recognize, and want to celebrate all the accomplishments of our performers, staff members, parents, and fans. We will still announce scholarship winners, we will honor our seniors and age outs, and we will celebrate all that we can.

“This was not an easy decision, nor one that we take lightly. We are not only board members, but we are also directors, instructors, parents, and fans of our activity. We love the energy and enthusiasm that many have with wanting to perform one last time, but for financial, logistical, and safety reasons we must accept that our 2020 season has ended.

“We love our Meeples, and we grieve with you, but we also celebrate the season that we have had together.”

•FIRST decided to cancel its 2020 Robotics Season. Robots-R-Us, based out of Eaton, was set to compete at World Championships at the end of April. FIRST President Larry Gohen issued the following statement, “It is with deep disappointment that I share an update on the immediate suspension of the current FIRST season and the cancellation of both Championship events. This decision has been made based on guidance from the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and state and local health officials, as well as the declaration of states of emergency across many states/countries, the ever-expanding travel restrictions for schools, and in light of developments over the past 24 hours. The health and safety of our community is our top priority, so we have decided to suspend all season play across all Programs worldwide, effective immediately, including the cancellation of both FIRST Championship events. Please know that FIRST Championship registration fees will be refunded.

“This difficult decision was grounded in FIRST’s commitment to put the health and safety of our community above all else. During this challenging time, we have been working closely with our program delivery partners (PDPs) and event organizers around the world to navigate and mitigate the risks to our community due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). As a result, many of our events in the United States and around the world have been canceled or postponed, including more than half of all future FIRST Robotics Competition events. We acknowledge and appreciate the thousands of teams, parents, mentors, coaches and volunteers who have poured their hearts and souls into this season, and we share your disappointment.

“The mission of FIRST has always been to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders and innovators, and we continue to be deeply committed to this mission. We know that you will have questions, and we will provide answers in the following days and weeks as we navigate what has been an unprecedented time.”

Robots-R-Us Team Captain Matthew Back commented, “I sit here having just received the news that FIRST has decided to cancel the 2020 robotics season. As a senior and team captain of 3266 this year I am devastated that this had to be the outcome.

“Our students put so much work in this year and I am proud of every single one of them. This year we had achieved something that is rare for a small team; we qualified for the world championship and had an amazing bot to compete with. In my four years we had never even been close to this achievement and to finally qualify and have it taken away hurts.

“I would like to thank all of this years sponsors for believing in us and hope that for years to come they will. Finally I would like to thank Bob Unruh for this wonderful opportunity over the past 11 years he has guided and been lead mentor of the team helping push us to greatness every year.”

•YWCA Dayton postponed its upcoming Women of Influence awards luncheon until June 3. Preble County Job and Family Services Director Becky Sorrell is set to be recognized during the event.

YWCA Dayton issued the following statement, “It is with an abundance of caution, due to global health concerns, that we will be postponing this year’s Women of Influence awards luncheon until June 3, 2020. All event registrations remain valid and we look forward to seeing you then.

“In more than two decades, only 168 honorees have been named Women of Influence. It is an incredibly special, and unique, sisterhood; and each year’s class merits a day they can call their own for celebration and recognition, unimpeded. They are deserving of nothing less than this kind of joy.

“Questions? Contact womenofinfluence@ywcadayton.org and we will respond as soon as possible.”

•Preble County HIT Foundation (Home is the Foundation) canceled its upcoming Hoops for HIT 3-on-3 fundraising tournament planned for Saturday, March 21.

HIT issued the following statement, “It is with an abundance of caution, due to local health concerns, that we will be canceling this year’s Hoops for the HIT Foundation 3-on-3 Basketball tournament. If your team has paid a registration fee we will be in contact with you directly to issue a refund. We appreciate your support and hope you will take part in future events!”

R-H Staff